Making the decision to go independent is a tough choice, one that should be considered thoroughly. At Cross-Search, we feel this assessment should not be made alone, but with a professional who has experience and can help you determine if independence is right for you. Because, let’s be honest, moving your book of business is not an easy process. It is time consuming and can be stressful, but if done correctly, can be the most-rewarding endeavor of your career.
Here are just a few of the questions we feel advisors should ask themselves before considering a move to an independent firm.
Contractual Restrictions / Repercussions
Do you have any type of restrictive agreement that would prevent you from making a move? How will your current brokerage firm treat you when you leave? How were other advisors treated when they left? You can expect the same reaction and treatment. If you have a contract with your current firm, get a copy to evaluate potential repercussions.
What are your current expenses? What expenses will you encounter when you set up your own office? Remember, all expenses are tax deductible. Do you have the initial capital to set up your office, do all paperwork and transfer accounts? In some cases, it takes 1-3 months to transition your clients and your get revenue streams flowing again.
Whose customers are they? Determining which clients will stay at your old brokerage firm and which clients are loyal to you is crucial to deciding if you are ready to make a move. What changes will your clients experience? For example, how are customer statements presented at your current firm? Will your customers be able to read their new customer statements with ease?
What do you enjoy about your current situation that you might miss when you are running your own office? Can you replicate these factors in your new environment?
What computer support and research elements comprise your current system? What will you require as an independent financial advisor?
Do you want to be a business owner?
Running your own business involves hiring and managing staff, managing compliance/legal issues and marketing. While it can be one of the most rewarding endeavors of your life, you’ll need to make sure you can replace the support system you are accustomed to.
At Cross-Search, we’ll help you work through these and many other important considerations and factors to determine if independence is right for you. Before you do anything, talk to a professional at Cross-Search.